The picturesque island of Nantucket, which lies off the coast of Massachusetts, entices visitors with its historic lighthouses, immaculate beaches, and cobblestone streets. Navigating the multitude of activities may seem daunting to first-time visitors. This all-inclusive guide reveals the top 29 activities to do in Nantucket that are sure to make your vacation unforgettable.
If you go to Nantucket, visit my other blog post: How To Get To Nantucket: A Guide To The Travel Route
1. Brant Point Lighthouse:
Admire the beautiful harbor views provided by the recognizable Brant Point Lighthouse. This landmark captures the essence of Nantucket’s maritime charm and is ideal for a leisurely stroll.
2. Savor fresh seafood:
Discover an unforgettable dining experience at Straight Wharf Restaurant, where culinary mastery harmonizes with the day’s most pristine catch. Indulge in the delectable seafood delicacies served at this picturesque waterfront treasure.
3. Bike the Scenic Milestone Road:
Explore the captivating charm of Nantucket’s natural wonders as you embark on a delightful biking journey along Milestone Road. Uncover secret treasures and breathtaking coastal vistas while pedaling through this enchanting island route.
4. Visit the Whale Museum:
Explore the fascinating maritime history of Nantucket at the Whale Museum. Immerse yourself in captivating displays that highlight the island’s whaling heritage, featuring a wide range of artifacts and interactive exhibits.
5. Relax at Jetties Beach:
Relax and unwind at Jetties Beach, a tranquil coastal retreat boasting shimmering sands and pristine waters. Indulge in sunbathing and beach activities, and maybe even take a rejuvenating swim in the Atlantic Ocean.
6. Tour the Oldest House:
Discover Nantucket’s rich history at the Oldest House, a historic landmark dating back to 1686. Immerse yourself in the charm of colonial architecture and delve into the island’s colonial roots with our informative guided tours. Step back in time and experience the fascinating stories that shaped Nantucket’s past.
7. Discover Nantucket’s Cottage Hospital:
Come and explore the delightful Nantucket Cottage Hospital, a captivating architectural masterpiece that seamlessly combines the past with modern healthcare. Take a leisurely walk through its picturesque gardens and admire the island’s dedication to promoting well-being while preserving its rich heritage.
8. Sail Aboard the Endeavour:
Embark on a voyage aboard the Endeavor, a timeless Nantucket sailboat, for an extraordinary maritime adventure. Indulge in a serene journey, soaking in breathtaking vistas of the island’s shoreline.
9. Hike the Altar Rock Trail:
Discover the Altar Rock Trail, a haven for nature enthusiasts that provides breathtaking panoramic views from the highest point in Nantucket. This invigorating hike will transport you to the island’s diverse landscapes, offering a refreshing escape from the ordinary.
10. Attend the Nantucket Film Festival:
Explore the enchanting realm of cinema at the Nantucket Film Festival. Embrace the magic of independent films, connect with talented filmmakers, and immerse yourself in the distinctive cultural atmosphere of this captivating island affair.
11. Kayak Polpis Harbor:
Discover the untouched natural beauty of Nantucket as you embark on a serene kayak adventure through the calm waters of Polpis Harbor. Uncover hidden coves, encounter fascinating wildlife, and immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere that surrounds you.
12. Visit the Artists Association of Nantucket:
Discover the incredible artistry at the Artists Association of Nantucket and immerse yourself in the local creative scene. Take a stroll through the galleries, where you’ll find an exquisite collection of artwork by talented island artists. Who knows, you might just stumble upon a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that will forever remind you of your unforgettable visit to Nantucket.
13. Golf at Miacomet Golf Club:
Experience the thrill of playing golf at Miacomet Golf Club, a picturesque golf course nestled amidst the stunning natural beauty of Nantucket. Test your swing and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring vistas of the island’s landscapes.
14. Explore Cisco Brewers:
Discover the vibrant ambiance of Cisco Brewers, a beloved hotspot in Nantucket. Immerse yourself in the world of craft beers, live music, and delectable food trucks, all coming together to create an unforgettable social experience on the island.
15. Take a Historic Walking Tour:
Discover the rich history of Nantucket with a guided walking tour that will take you through the island’s cobblestone streets and historic homes. Gain a deeper understanding of the island’s intriguing past as you explore its fascinating landmarks.
16. Whale Watching Excursion:
Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of marine life on an exhilarating whale-watching adventure. Nantucket’s pristine waters are teeming with a diverse range of whale species, ensuring an unparalleled and indelible journey.
17. Sunset at Madaket Beach:
Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of a sunset at Madaket Beach, famous for its captivating evening vistas. Unwind on the sandy coastline while the sun gracefully descends beneath the horizon, enveloping the Atlantic in a radiant and comforting glow.
18. Attend the Nantucket Comedy Festival:
Experience a delightful evening filled with laughter and entertainment at the Nantucket Comedy Festival, showcasing exceptional comedians in a stunning island location. Revel in the coastal allure while enjoying top-notch humor.
19. Nantucket Daffodil Festival:
Experience the joy of spring’s arrival at the Nantucket Daffodil Festival, a lively occasion that highlights the island’s beauty with its blooming daffodils. Engage in parades and picnics, and immerse yourself in the festive ambiance.
20. Nantucket Wine & Food Festival:
Experience a gastronomic adventure at the Nantucket Wine & Food Festival. Delight in tasting exceptional wines, joining captivating cooking demonstrations, and relishing gourmet masterpieces, creating a haven for food aficionados.
21. Bike to Siasconset:
Discover the timeless beauty of Siasconset, a delightful village adorned with rose-covered cottages and coastal charm. Embark on a picturesque bike ride and immerse yourself in the scenic surroundings as you pedal your way to this enchanting destination. Uncover the allure of this quaint locale and indulge in its captivating allure.
22. Nantucket Historical Association Tours:
Participate in educational excursions provided by the Nantucket Historical Association. Explore the island’s abundant history and cultural legacy through guided strolls and museum visits.
23. Explore Great Point Wildlife Refuge:
Explore the unspoiled magnificence of Great Point Wildlife Refuge. With access granted exclusively to off-road vehicles, this secluded sanctuary provides an opportunity to witness wildlife thriving in their undisturbed natural environment, all set against a breathtaking backdrop.
24. Try Nantucket Bay Scallops:
Enjoy the exquisite taste of Nantucket Bay scallops, a renowned local delicacy known for its delectable and juicy flavor. Treat yourself to these delectable seafood delicacies at various restaurants on the island.
25. Visit the Cisco Beach Surf Shack:
Experience the vibrant surf culture at the Cisco Beach Surf Shack. Regardless of your skill level, whether you are an experienced surfer or a beginner, you can easily rent a surfboard and enjoy riding the magnificent waves along the stunning coastline of Nantucket.
26. Nantucket Atheneum:
Discover the world of literature and culture at the Nantucket Atheneum, the public library on the island. Immerse yourself in literary events, delve into the extensive collection, or savor a peaceful reading experience in this charming historic location.
27. Annual Nantucket Cranberry Festival:
Come and immerse yourself in the lively colors of the Nantucket Cranberry Festival. Observe the cranberry harvesting displays, relish in live music, and engage in fun-filled activities for the whole family amidst the bogs.
28. Bike to Dionis Beach:
Take a delightful bike journey to Dionis Beach, a picturesque coastline adorned with sand dunes and tranquility. Immerse yourself in the serene ambiance and savor the soothing melody of the ocean waves at this secret paradise.
29. Nantucket Ghost Tour:
Wrap up your visit with an exhilarating Nantucket Ghost Tour. Uncover the eerie past of the island as knowledgeable guides recount bone-chilling stories, injecting an element of intrigue into your Nantucket adventure.
When is the best time of year to visit Nantucket?
Summer (June to August) is the busiest season, when the weather is warm and activities are in full swing. Spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) offer milder weather and fewer visitors.
How can I get to Nantucket?
Nantucket can be reached by ferry or plane. Ferries leave from Hyannis, and flights leave from a variety of airports, including Boston and New York.
Is there anything for families to do on the island?
Absolutely! Nantucket has family-friendly beaches like Children’s Beach, bike paths, and attractions for people of all ages like the Whale Museum.
Are there any low-cost dining options?
While some restaurants are upscale, there are also many casual and inexpensive dining options, such as seafood shacks and local eateries.
Should I walk around Nantucket or rent a bike?
Both options are viable. The island is pedestrian-friendly, and bikes are a popular mode of transportation, with well-maintained paths and rental services.
Is it possible to bring a pet to Nantucket?
While some beaches and accommodations allow pets, it is critical to check ahead of time. There may be leash laws in effect, and some areas may have restrictions.
Can I go to Nantucket for the day?
Day trips are certainly possible. To fully appreciate the island’s allure, consider staying for an extended period of time to thoroughly explore its various attractions.
Are there any historical sites to visit?
Absolutely. Nantucket has a rich maritime history, and historical sites such as the Whaling Museum, Brant Point Lighthouse, and the Old Mill provide insight into the island’s history.
Is there a local currency, or do merchants accept credit cards?
The local currency is the United States dollar (USD), and credit cards are widely accepted. Carry some cash with you for small purchases and places that may not accept cards.
Is it possible to visit Nantucket in the winter?
While winter brings fewer visitors, some activities and businesses may close for the season. It’s a peaceful time for those looking for a quiet retreat, but it’s critical to plan ahead of time.
Is there an art gallery on the island?
Yes, there are several art galleries on Nantucket that feature both local and international artists. The Artists Association of Nantucket is a well-known gathering place for art enthusiasts.